[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: In the Mediterranean basin and Middle East, including Iran, visceral leishmaniasis (VL), also known as kala-azar, is caused by Leishmania donovani infantum. For the first time, the use of urine samples for the diagnosis of VL in immunocompetent patients has been used in this study. Based on its high sensitivity and specificity, as well as simplicity, this approach can serve as a valuable tool in the diagnosis of VL. We studied 60 urine samples from 60 individuals, 30 of which were patients with VL confirmed by parasitology, serology, or molecular methods, 5 were from healthy individuals, and 25 were from patients with cutaneous leishmaniasis, malaria, brucellosis, and hydatid cyst. Out of 30 samples from confirmed VL immunocompetent patients, 29 were positive (sensitivity, 96.8%) by polymerase chain reaction (RV1 and RV2 primers), and all the remaining 30 samples either from healthy individuals or patients with other diseases were negative (specificity, 100%). High sensitivity, specificity, and simplicity of the test can serve as a valuable tool in the diagnosis of VL.
[Show abstract][Hide abstract] ABSTRACT: An epidemiological study to examine the sero-prevalence of zoonotic visceral leishmaniosis (ZVL) among domestic and wild canines in endemic foci of Iran was carried out during 1999-2003 to assess the distribution of the disease and the possible association between infection in dogs, wild canines and people. Anti-leishmanial antibodies were detected by the direct agglutination test (DAT). Parasitological study was performed for all captured wild canines and were detected in some of the seropositive dogs with specific clinical signs (n=107). Serum samples (n=1568) were collected from domestic dogs in villages that are known endemic foci of human visceral leishmaniosis (HVL). Wild canine sera were collected from jackals (Canis aureus, n=10), foxes (Vulpes vulpes, n=10) and wolves (Canis lupus, n=10). Of the 1568 serum sampled collected from domestic dogs, 222 (14.2%) were positive by DAT (1:320 and above). No statistically significant difference was found between male (15.2%) and female (11.8%) sero-prevalence (P=0.083). Dogs of 8 years and above showed the highest sero-prevalence (40.6%). Only 23.9% of the seropositive domestic dogs had clinical signs. Parasitology and serology tests that were performed in 30 wild canines showed 10% these animals were infected by Leishmania infantum. Ten out of 11 Leishmania spp. isolated from the dogs and wild canines were identified as L. infantum and one other as L. tropica by molecular and biochemical techniques. For the first time in Iran, L. infantum and L. tropica were isolated from viscera of both a wolf and a domestic dog.